6 Key Recommendations from the VA OIG MST Report

Future Steps to Address Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Military

Sexual Assault in the Military

Sexual assault and harassment in the military remain a pervasive problem despite efforts to address it. The VA OIG report highlighted several recommendations that can help reduce this issue, but there is still much more that needs to be done. Here are some additional steps that the military can take to prevent and respond to sexual assault and harassment:

1. Increase Accountability for Leaders

Military Leadership

The military needs to hold leaders more accountable for their actions and the actions of their subordinates. This includes holding commanders responsible for the culture within their units and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and harassment. Leaders who fail to prevent or address this issue should be held accountable and face consequences.

2. Develop a Culture of Respect

Respectful Culture

The military needs to create a culture of respect where all service members feel valued and supported. This includes providing training that promotes respectful behavior and eliminates discriminatory attitudes. Additionally, the military should ensure that all service members have access to mental health and other resources that can support their overall well-being.

3. Promote Reporting and Accountability

Military Reporting

The military should make it easier for service members to report incidents of sexual assault and harassment. This includes creating a reporting system that is confidential, easy to use, and effective. The military should also ensure that all reports are taken seriously and that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

4. Improve Training and Education

Military Training

The military should provide ongoing training and education on sexual assault and harassment. This includes training all service members on the impact of sexual assault and harassment, how to recognize and prevent it, and how to respond when it does occur. The training should be interactive, engaging, and tailored to the needs of different groups within the military.

5. Expand Support Services for Survivors

Survivor Support Services

Survivors of sexual assault and harassment need access to comprehensive support services that can help them heal and recover. This includes providing access to mental health services, medical care, and legal support. The military should also ensure that survivors have access to advocates who can help them navigate the reporting process and connect with appropriate resources.

6. Increase Transparency and Oversight

Military Oversight

The military should increase transparency and oversight of its efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault and harassment. This includes regularly publishing data on the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in the military, as well as data on the outcomes of investigations and prosecutions. The military should also ensure that its policies and programs are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect best practices and emerging trends.

Sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable in any context, but they are particularly egregious in the military, where service members are expected to put their lives on the line to protect our country. The military has taken steps to address this issue, but more needs to be done to create a culture of respect and accountability that values the safety and well-being of all service members.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *